Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery Guide

Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery Guide

This guide is meant to be an essential resource to chambers throughout the global network to prepare, respond and help recover in the event of an emergency or disaster.

The ICC World Chambers Federation is proud to provide this emergency preparedness and recovery guide to all chambers around the world.

Many chambers have played a pivotal role in helping their members and general business community prepare for, handle, and recover from emergency situations. Chambers are found all across the globe and are often the most trusted and connected business organisations in their respective regions. As a result, they are ideal to be the organisations that ensure businesses can be resilient and come through an emergency or disaster with minimal impact.

This guide is critical for two reasons: first is that in virtually every emergency programme around the globe, protocols and frameworks exist to address humanitarian needs but not the needs of business – therefore, it fills a current gap; and, the ability to provide quick and efficient support to businesses affected by a disaster or emergency drastically increases the chances that the business will survive the event.

The statistics are significant: research in the United States shows that of businesses that were affected and closed as a result of a natural disaster, 43% never re-open. And of those that do re-open, 28% fail within two years. This guide is meant to address those statistics and help businesses be better prepared and resilient in the face of a major event. Research proves that if businesses are able to recover quickly following an event, it contributes to better recovery of a community.

While chambers are often member-based organisations, in the case of emergency preparedness and recovery, it is important to ensure the health and recovery of the entire business community, not just chambers and their members. Therefore in this guide when the term member is referred to, we encourage all chambers to make the resources available to all businesses. This can be one more means of demonstrating value to the community and a way to encourage businesses to support the work of the chamber.

It is also important to note that this guide has been developed to enable a chamber to prepare for and respond to any kind of situation, man-made or natural disaster. The range of situations in which this guide can be of assistance include:

  • natural disasters, such as floods, fire, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes;
  • man-made disasters, such as fire, explosion, toxic spill; and
  • criminal situations, such as hostage taking, active shooters, riots, terrorism, etc.

The guide is meant to assist any chamber with two things: how to be more prepared themselves; and, how to deploy programmes that will be of benefit to their members or general business community.

It details a variety of governance, communication and activities that are recommended best practices in terms of being able to best support the recovery of a business community to disaster or emergency.

The guide is segmented into three parts:

  • Emergency preparedness – what chambers and businesses can do in advance of any disaster or emergency to increase resilience and the chances of recovery post event;
  • Emergency response – what chambers can and should do in the immediate hours and days following an event; and
  • Recovery – the role of chambers, and other related organisations, in ensuring that businesses recover back to a normalized state post event.